Matthew 1 – Special From the Beginning

by Jill

Note: When my hosting situation is fixed the Bible in Small Steps will have its own site. Right now, the blog articles can live here. The art is from Dall-E AI, and while it is theologically ok, there might be things that don’t belong to that century, like Josephs’s nice clothes rack, nightstand, and book. Thank you!

In this chapter, Jesus’ genealogy is traced back to Abraham and David from the side of his adopted father, Joseph. The circumstances surrounding Jesus’ birth are then described. Mary and Joseph were betrothed, which was similar to being engaged. In their culture, this was a serious commitment that was not taken lightly. They had probably exchanged vows, but the marriage ceremony had not yet occurred and could be months away. They did not live together or act as husband and wife.

Joseph was known as a just man, which some interpreted as a special holy man, while others believed he was just and faithful. When he found out that Mary was pregnant, he planned to divorce her quietly. He could have publicly accused her of adultery and ruined her reputation, but he chose not to.

However, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and called him “son of David”. The angel instructed Joseph not to divorce Mary but to take her as his wife because the child she was carrying was conceived of the Holy Spirit. This was a difficult situation for Joseph since it suggested that he was lying about his purity before marriage or that Mary had been unfaithful. Despite this, Joseph obeyed the angel and took Mary as his wife, but they abstained from relations until after the birth.

The child was named Jesus as instructed by the angel. This fulfilled prophecies from the Old Testament, including Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 8:8, and Isaiah 8:10.

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“Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The ESV text may not be quoted in any publication made available to the public by a Creative Commons license. The ESV may not be translated in whole or in part into any other language.”

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